What People Get Wrong About Long-Distance Couples

As someone who’s been in a few long-distance relationships, I know how hard they can be. I’ve dealt with the friends who said it wouldn’t last, questioning both how we could both remain faithful when we were apart, and, of course, “How can you stand not having sex with someone you love?”

People are really good at making assumptions about long-distance relationships. While friends and family sometimes err on the negative side, as a means to protect us in a way, those of us in these long-distance relationships tend to lean toward the positive possibilities of being in an LDR — and there are definitely some incredible pros to being in a long-distance relationship. But sometimes you have to wonder if the pros and cons even themselves out enough to be worth it. Because, honestly, some days the pain of the distance between you and your partner can be unbearable and you can't help but second guess your entire relationship.

So whether you're in a long-distance relationship now or will be in one soon because of life or work circumstances, here's what you want to keep in the forefront of your mind, because it's easy to forget how important physical touch really is.

1. People Think That Distance Won’t Change Their Love

Although it’s easy to assume that your love will remain just as it was when you were together, that’s not always the case. “People tend to believe that they will love their partner and that their partner will love them just as they did when they were not in a long-distance relationship,” Certified Relationship Coach, Chris Armstrong, tells Bustle. “This, instead of realizing that geographic closeness made it easier to see each other a lot, played a key part in their relationship being strong.”

2. People Believe That Digital Communication Will Be Easy To Stick To

As much as it’s hard to go from sleeping together almost every night to keeping touch via Skype or Gchat, at first there’s almost a novelty to it. I remember thinking how fun it was to have sexy Skype chats and send sexy texts with my long-distance partner, but after a while when he asked if we could have a dirty Skype session, I’d tell him that I was really focused on my Parks and Rec marathon and we’d do it later — a later that rarely came. Armstrong reiterates this fact by pointing out that these types of communication fall by the wayside eventually.

3. People Sometimes Forget How Important Physical Touch Is

Even if you’re not the cuddliest person in the world, lack of touch and intimacy can definitely take a toll — and this is coming from someone who turns into stone when people try to hug me. Even I, a woman whose heart is as cold as ice and as dark as night, would ache to be touched by the man I loved.

“People think that simply talking and texting will be enough,” says Armstrong. “Not true! People crave intimacy, touch, and connection — three things that do not show through with Skype, etc.”

4. People Don’t Always Realize The Power Of Jealousy

Although a little bit of jealousy in a relationship is OK, when it spirals into unhealthy jealousy, that’s when things can go south real fast. So it's important to keep things in perspective and choose your battles wisely. You don't want to jump the gun in thinking something is one way, when it actually isn't.

“People do not realize the power of jealousy and the hold it will take,” says Armstrong. “Trust can be as solid as an oak before the long-distance relationship starts, but it can and often does evaporate very soon as people spend more time apart.”

But no matter what anyone says, not all LDRs are automatically doomed. While there are substantial realities to consider when being in a long-distance relationship, that doesn't mean there's no hope for a future with your long-distance partner. In fact, research from just earlier this year found that there are actually lots of benefits to being in a long-distance relationship. It's just a matter of how you handle it, what expectations you have for the relationship and each other, and how you proceed in making it work. If you want to make it work, like really make it work, there's a good chance you can.

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